Editor's Comment: If you think I've missed a match, an event or a goal glaringly obvious, please comment. The likelihood is I wasn't there. Or I was there and forgot, in which case, I apologise, you're right.
BEST HOME MATCH:
The way of the world dictated I missed two of the stand-out matches at Elland Road against Birmingham and Huddersfield, with six points gained and nine goals scored. I enjoyed Blackpool at home, taking my Grandad for his first visit in years and Middlesbrough on my birthday weekend, but the most memorable home game for all in attendance was the opening day sell-out against Brighton. In traditional Leeds United fashion, we went 1-0 down early on before Luke Murphy completed our come-back, securing a 2-1 win in the 95th minute.
BEST AWAY MATCH:
Again, university ensured I missed the stand-out away day, undoubtedly the 4-2 win at Charlton in November. Of the fifteen or so away games I attended, there weren’t many successful ones and so I’d have to go for either the 3-0 win at Doncaster or the final away day of the season at Birmingham. We led mid-way through the first half at the Keepmoat before being seriously pegged back. McCormack’s individual brilliance saw us sneak an un-deserved second and the scenes were reciprocated shortly after when Rodolph Austin added a third. Birmingham away was just amusing; two awful teams seemingly playing out a dour 0-0 draw until we scored three times in ten minutes.
WORST HOME MATCH:
There’s almost been too many to choose from. Finally, being away at university brought me some success, missing both the 5-1 reverse to Bolton and the 4-2 thrashing by Reading, but I did see some shockers. For a terrible match, a very poor atmosphere and an even worse result, the 1-0 loss to Charlton has to take the honour, but Forest at home isn’t far behind either.
WORST AWAY MATCH:
There were three that no Leeds fan should ever have to experience again. Millwall, Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday will remain forever in the memory bank all for the wrong reasons with the latter two coming within a week of each other. We were out-classed at Millwall, but as it features elsewhere here I’ll go for Sheffield Wednesday. Rochdale embarrassed us, but they were a young, in-form side epitomising everything that we don’t. You can’t watch your side concede six against noisy neighbours and say you endured a worse away match.
BEST AWAY DAY:
Away days on the whole are more about the travelling, the visiting new places and the eating and drinking with your mates than the football, which as a Leeds fan is a good thing considering the football is usually awful. I loved both Birmingham and Barnsley with my closest friend, Ipswich was good but, because it was made all the more amusing for the football, I’ll go for Watford. I wasn’t expecting to go, my ticket was free, I met some outstanding people and we had a good drink. And then we lost 3-0.
WORST AWAY DAY:
Travelling three and a half hours on a Wednesday night to lose 1-0 in the 97th minute to an incredibly irritating Reading wasn’t great but you can’t look any further than Millwall. It’s a long journey to an area somehow worse than Beeston. You arrived and you’re greeted by gestures and Istanbul chants. It wasn’t particularly cheap. The £4 hot dog was the worst I’ve ever had and I could have found nicer lager teasing my glass around in the urinal. We also got thrashed.
BEST AWAY FANS:
Sheffield Wednesday weren’t bad, Forest were average and I’d imagine Derby were good but I wasn’t there so, as most said, Middlesbrough. They travelled in good numbers and saw their side go both a goal and a man down inside the first half. Special mention must go to Charlton as well. They weren’t particularly loud, and considering it was a Tuesday night, there wasn’t great numbers either. For a side struggling badly with relegation, they looked to enjoy themselves however and you couldn’t help feeling slightly happy for them as they celebrated Ben Hamer’s last minute penalty save.
WORST AWAY FANS:
There’s a lot to choose from. Huddersfield, deluded. Reading, boring. Millwall, non-existent. I wasn’t there but I’ll go for Doncaster. They boycotted a game that was “too expensive” when in reality, the extra money they had to spend on the ticket was saved on the travel. It’s half an hour down the road lads.
BEST HOME FANS:
It has to be Millwall unfortunately. If they could cut out the vile chants it’d be a unique place to watch football because it’s incredibly loud. Their “to the Den” chant works outstandingly and despite going too far when Leeds are in town, it’s full of people that genuinely care about their football club.
WORST HOME FANS:
Toss-up between Reading and Newcastle. The Madejski is a number of soul-less bowls that is kick-starting the end of the beautiful game known by most. Their fans are silent for the entirety, until they sneak a last minute winner. Newcastle fans disappointed me the most though; it’s an incredible stadium in a part of the country famous for its football. Admittedly, it was only a League Cup tie, but they earn this award for a lack-lustre attempt at joining in the chants for Gary Speed, a hero for both clubs.
I often complain how we never score good goals; it’s rare a Leeds player drills one in to the top corner from thirty yards and if they do, I probably wasn’t there to see it. McCormack’s goal against Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road was outstanding earning him the club’s official “Goal of the Season”. His goal away at Doncaster wasn’t bad either. As for the opposition, Chesterfield’s team goal in our League Cup tie was outstanding, whilst Reza Ghoochenejhad, Matt Derbyshire and DJ Campbell all scored with stunning individual strikes for Charlton, Nottingham Forest and Millwall respectively.
GOAL CELEBRATED THE MOST:
Aside from the Luke Murphy winner on the opening day, this would have to go to McCormack’s goal at the City Ground. For eighty minutes we were absolutely out-classed until a strike of enormous fortune saw us draw level with ten minutes to go. With our play-off ambitions still very much on, we went wild at what we thought was the goal to secure an excellent point. Nottingham Forest scored the winner twenty seconds from the restart, brilliant.
BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE:
I wasn’t there for Ross McCormack’s show-stopping performance at the Valley so I’d probably choose Jack Butland’s debut at Middlesbrough. For a young goalkeeper making his debut at a club the size of Leeds United he was outstanding and kept us in the game. He’d be a contender for the best performance by an opposing player for his heroics against us whilst at Barnsley but would probably just lose out to Tom Cairney who was unbelievable for Blackburn in their 2-1 win at Elland Road.
WORST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE:
BEST OPPOSING TEAM:
Similarly to last season, in our games against the champions I wasn’t overly impressed and for me, the best side I saw finished second in Burnley. Sean Dyche has done an excellent job creating a squad that on paper, looks average but that works unbelievably hard and relies on its key performers such as Danny Ings to step up to the plate. They were brilliant at Elland Road and could have been three or four up inside fifteen minutes.
WORST OPPOSING TEAM:
Birmingham. I don’t understand how any team can concede seven goals to us in two games. Defensively embarrassing and limited up front.
And some quick fire awards…
BIGGEST DICKHEAD: David Haigh. Lied and cheated his way to a massive wage.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON: Ross McCormack. Not his biggest fan but twenty nine goals in a team this bad is outstanding.
THE PLAYER OF THE SEASON AWARD FOR SOMEONE WHO PLAYED VERY WELL BUT WASN’T ROSS MCCORMACK: Jason Pearce. Outstanding.
UNSUNG HERO: Matt Smith. His size ensures your average, clueless Leeds United fan expects him to win everything in the air and delivery forty headed goals. In a team with no creativity and no wingers, Smith has contributed well with both goals and assists.
THING EXCITING ME THE MOST: Massimo Cellino, all being well. On the playing side; Luke Murphy.
FOUR WORD SEASON REVIEW: Thank God It’s Over.
PREDICTION FOR NEXT SEASON’S YORKSHIRE EVENING POST FINAL DAY HEADLINE: Noel Hunt fires Leeds United to Championship title.